Posh People Problems: New ride-sharing service lets you book a helicopter to beat Manila’s traffic

Photo: Ascent website
Photo: Ascent website

Have you ever been that guy who joked “guys, my ride’s here” when a helicopter flew by? Well, now you can actually do that. For real.

Anyone who has even stepped foot in Manila knows just how bad traffic is on the ground, which is why a new ride-sharing service is stepping up to bring its passengers to another high — in the sky.

Ascent is a ride-sharing chopper service from Singapore (surprise, surprise), and today, it launched its service in the Philippines, so now Filipinos can ride in extravagant style, by booking a helicopter on its website.

The services will be run by local air operator INAEC Aviation Corp.

The helicopters can fetch passengers from the pick-up point and drop them off at the helipad, allowing them to skip congested roads altogether. Bookings can be made, paid, and confirmed online via the Ascent website.

As of now, passengers can fly to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City, Makati City, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, Quezon City, Clark in Pampanga province, and Tagaytay City in Cavite province.

The Department of Transportation, Philippines said in a statement today that the service can reduce travel time in Metro Manila by up to 70 percent.

All this comes at a price, of course. In yet another non-surprise, it’s hella expensive to book. The most affordable flight is at PHP6,900 (US$132.36), and the most expensive flight is at PHP25,900 (US$496.90) — about double the monthly salary of minimum wage earners.

Those who are DTF (down to fly, obviously) must be at the pick-up point 20 minutes before the flight. Here are the available flights and the corresponding prices, as of this article’s writing:

NAIA to SM North EDSA in Quezon City and vice versa

Travel time: 15 minutes
Price: PHP10,900 (US$209.12)

NAIA to the Peninsula Manila Hotel in Makati City and vice versa

Travel time: 10 minutes
Price: PHP7,900 (US$170.75)

NAIA to V&A Law Center in Bonifacio Global City and vice versa

Travel time: 10 minutes
Price: PHP8,900 (US$170.89)

NAIA to INAEC Clark Hangar in Clark, Pampanga and vice versa

Travel time: 30 minutes
Price: PHP25,900 (US$496.90)

SM North EDSA in Quezon City to V&A Law Center in Bonifacio Global City and vice versa

Travel time: 12 minutes
Price: PHP9,900 (US$189.90)

Peninsula Manila Hotel in Makati City to V&A Law Center in Bonifacio Global City and vice versa

Travel time: 7 minutes
Price: PHP6,900 (US$132.36)

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